Biotech and Big Pharma Industry Increase R&D Activity for Novel Cancer Therapies

Tuesday, February 13, 2018 Drug News
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PALM BEACH, Florida, February 13, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- News Commentary 


global novel drug delivery systems (NDDS) in cancer therapy market is expected to reach USD $26.61 Billion by 2025, according to a report issued by Grand View Research, Inc. The market is primarily driven by global rise
in incidence of cancer, increase in research activities for developing novel drug delivery technologies, and availability of research funding for ongoing projects. The rise in healthcare expenditure for diagnosis and treatment of cancer and awareness about alternative therapies are expected to boost market growth. Biotechnology has gained a central importance for R&D efforts for newer healthcare and biological applications, living cells and tissues, and have remained and are expected to remain a critical factor for any further development in identifying the newest and enhanced drug delivery systems for cancer treatments and therapies. Active in the biotech and pharma industry today includes: Moleculin Biotech, Inc. (NASDAQ: MBRX), Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: Pfizer), Daré Bioscience Inc. (NASDAQ: DARE), ImmunoGen Inc. (NASDAQ: IMGN), Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited (NYSE: TEVA).

Moleculin Biotech, Inc. (NASDAQ: MBRX), a clinical stage pharmaceutical company focused on the development of anti-cancer drug candidates, some of which are based on license agreements with The University of Texas System on behalf of the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, today announced it has entered into an agreement with Emory University to enable expanded cancer research on Moleculin's WP1066 molecule for the possible treatment of medulloblastoma, a pediatric malignant primary brain tumor.   Physician-scientists at Emory University and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta have requested support to continue research aimed at the development of a novel treatment of medulloblastoma using WP1066 and Moleculin has agreed to supply them with a pure form of WP1066 for preclinical testing for the potential treatment of medulloblastoma. Emory studies so far have indicated that medulloblastoma may be particularly vulnerable to the ability of WP1066 to block the activated form of STAT3, a key signaling protein believed to contribute to the growth and survival of many tumors, including medulloblastoma.   "This research seems to confirm what other studies have shown; namely that WP1066 is capable of tumor suppression of many human cancers including brain tumors transplanted into mice," commented Walter Klemp, Chairman and CEO of Moleculin. "This adds to a growing list of prestigious cancer research centers interested in using (exploring/developing) WP1066 to treat cancer patients." Read this and more news for Moleculin Biotech at:   In other pharma and biotech developments in the markets:

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: Pfizer) closed up slightly on Monday at $34.66 with over 36.5 million shares traded by the market close. The company recently announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) accepted and granted Priority Review to the company's New Drug Application for lorlatinib. Lorlatinib is an investigational, anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) for the treatment of patients with ALK-positive metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), previously treated with one or more ALK TKIs. The European Medicines Agency and the Japan Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices Agency have also accepted marketing applications for the use of lorlatinib. "Treatment resistance resulting in disease progression is a major challenge faced by patients with ALK-positive metastatic NSCLC. Lorlatinib was developed by Pfizer scientists with the specific goal of overcoming resistance to first- and second-generation ALK-targeted therapies," said Mace Rothenberg, MD, chief development officer, Oncology, Pfizer Global Product Development.

Daré Bioscience Inc. (NASDAQ: DARE) closed up 50% on Monday at $2.76 trading over 8.9 million shares by the market close. The company recently announced it has entered into an agreement to license SST-6007 (5% Topical Sildenafil Citrate Cream), a potential treatment for Female Sexual Arousal Disorder ("FSAD"), from Strategic Science & Technologies, LLC ("SST"). FSAD is characterized primarily by an inability to attain or maintain sufficient physical sexual arousal that causes distress or interpersonal difficulty. SST-6007 incorporates sildenafil, the same active ingredient in Viagra®, in a proprietary cream formulation that is specifically designed to locally increase blood flow to the vulvar-vaginal tissue in women, leading to a potential improvement in genital arousal response and overall sexual experience. If approved, Daré believes SST-6007 would be the first FDA approved treatment for FSAD.

SST-6007 is the second product in Daré's growing portfolio of novel therapeutic candidates that address unmet needs in women's reproductive and sexual health. Daré's first product candidate undergoing clinical development in the United States is Ovaprene™, a non-hormonal contraceptive ring with the potential to be the first non-hormonal product to provide monthly contraceptive protection.

ImmunoGen Inc. (NASDAQ: IMGN) close up Monday over  18% at $10.545 trading over 5.9 million shares traded on the day. Last week, the company announced highlights and operating results for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2017. "We made significant progress with the business in 2017, with four consecutive quarters of strong execution across the Company. Operationally, we advanced our monotherapy registration study and published compelling combination data with mirvetuximab, expanded our clinical pipeline, and established a high-value partnership with Jazz Pharmaceuticals supporting our earlier-stage programs. Financially, we added over $235 million in cash and eliminated roughly $100 million in debt on the balance sheet through business development and financing transactions," said Mark Enyedy, ImmunoGen's president and chief executive officer. "With the momentum we generated in the last twelve months, we enter 2018 from a position of strength with a number of important catalysts expected during the year. We anticipate completing patient enrollment in our FORWARD I Phase 3 registration trial by mid-year, multiple data readouts from our FORWARD II trial assessing combinations with mirvetuximab beginning next month at the Society of Gynecologic Oncology annual meeting, and clinical data from our Phase 1 trials of both IMGN779 and IMGN632 later in the year. With these anticipated events, we look forward to another productive year in 2018 as we advance our pipeline to bring new therapies to patients and create value for our shareholders."

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited (NYSE: TEVA) closed Monday up over 3% at $19.27 trading over 16.5 million shares by the market close. The company also announced that QVAR® RediHaler™ (beclomethasone dipropionate HFA) Inhalation Aerosol is now commercially available to patients in both 40 mcg and 80 mcg strengths by prescription in the U.S. QVAR® RediHaler™ is the first and only breath-actuated aerosol inhaled corticosteroid for the maintenance treatment of asthma as a prophylactic therapy in patients 4 years of age and older. It is not indicated for the relief of acute bronchospasm. "When it comes to the treatment of asthma, proper inhaler technique remains a critical issue for patients. In fact, nearly 68 percent of patients do not use their metered dose inhalers (MDIs) well enough to benefit from the prescribed medication1, leading to potentially uncontrolled asthma symptoms2," said Dr. Warner W. Carr, MD, Associate Medical Director of Southern California Research at Allergy and Asthma Associates of Southern California Medical Group.

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